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6th April 2021

IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador at a recent media conference had announced the arrest of 34 people linked to the Macau scam, among whom were officers from various enforcement agencies. Likewise, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the last few weeks reported the arrest of 68 people believed to be gang members, some whom were reportedly holders of federal or state honorifics. 

Federal and state governments that award honorifics to individuals has an established set of rules and criteria and are normally awarded to deserving individuals at the discretion of state Rulers on the occasion of the Rulers’ birthday. Recipients bestowed with such awards are deemed to have contributed exemplary service to the state and are of reputable and untarnished character. As such, recipients are expected to uphold themselves with honour and dignity and not to conduct themselves into disrepute.  

Over the last several years there had been a hike in a number of criminal cases involving federal and state honorific recipients. These included corruptions, money laundering, gangsterism, extortion, fights, and a host of other criminal offences. Arrests were made either by the police or the MACC.  

When prosecuted, they not only are disgraced, but also degraded and dishonoured the honorific title they used before their names. Their undesirable activities had demeaned and dishonored the state, and the Rulers who bestowed them the award.    

To restore and preserve the sanctity, honour and integrity of the award, Patriot suggests that all federal and state honorific recipients who had been convicted for criminal activities be revoked and degazetted of their awards.    

A public image of a Tan Sri, Dato Seri or Dato attired in the infamous orange MACC, handcuffed and arraigned in court to face criminal charges is disgusting. Of late, such sights have been a regular feature in the media. What is even more disgusting is that the arraigned individual does not appear to be remorseful; rather he leaves the courthouse with a broad smile. How does this reflect on our younger generation who looks upon such titled individuals with high regards?           

Patriot respects the right of the states and Rulers to bestow honorifics to whomsoever they so wished. But one has to consider which of this two is more important to preserve, i.e., the sanctity and integrity of honorific or a disgraced recipient?           

BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd) 
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan